A few days back, one of my friends sent me a link to check out. The gist of the link was to convince people to not drive their vehicle for 30th Jan 2011. And why?
Because “One day’s restraint cannot count all that much, you may say. In that case, you are wrong. Each minute step matters. And here, we are talking about a collective minute step. Let us breathe free on January 30. Let us help our earth breathe. Let us! “
Now while I couldn’t even begin ridiculing the intentions of the “No driving day” guy for almost three weeks, I have come out of shock and began thinking about it. I really tried hard to understand what good can be achieved by a group of people, 1000 or lesser, led by a random person on the internet to give up driving for a day (which, conveniently is a Sunday as well ). Why do people celebrate “earth hour” one hour once a year by switching off their lights? Why do people try to save tigers on the internet by blogging? Why do models go nude for PETA rather than wearing fur? (okay, that I understand)
We all know that the world today is suffering from a lot of problems, all this pollution in the air, the scarcity of energy, the sparsity of tigers and a thousand other things. Some people take these problems more seriously than others, and they know that if they propose any solution to the mass in which each individual will have to get out of their comfort zone, it is doomed to fail. So what do they do?
They just propose something which will make the followers feel that they are contributing to the cause, whereas they are just trivializing it and deluding themselves by going for a self righteous trip. They are just getting rid of their guilt of polluting the environment and congesting our roads very cheaply. Not driving on 30th Jan will not cause even 0.0001% change in overall traffic or pollution this month, this year, or ever. It won’t even make a statement. But participants will think that they have made an impact, while they’d have just made a fool of themselves. And they will gloat and laugh when they see you driving on 30th, and maybe even compel you to join them in this stupid crusade.
Proposal for my followers:
For not letting these people good about themselves, I propose my followers should drive twice on 30th Jan, simple. This way you can reverse the guilt and let them know that they have not done anything good for the environment. All their gloats are belong to us.
Proposal for “No driving day” followers:
Save some water as well guys, If you really want to feel good about yourself and help the environment, stop bathing 7 days a week and do it once a week. That way you will really have saved some water everyday. Too inconvenient?
In the words of George Carlin, “We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. ‘Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.’ And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet?”
I’ve been a long time fan of google transliterate – and have been using it for a couple of years for all my hindi tweets. Just like this one -
But I’ve always missed the translate functionality which was available on google for a host of other languages. Finally, it has arrived for Hindi as well- and man it’s awesome!
I tried with a few simple translations from English to Hindi, just to warm up – and to please google.
Pretty cool! So far, so good. And if Google is the big daddy of all internet companies, twitter is the son of all internet companies, isn’t it?
Ohoh… screwed up. Never mind google, the छोटे लला translation for “small sonny” still impressed me a lot
Overwhelmed with the google awesomeness, I gave it one real compliment.
Oops. I guess that’s what google translate really is. :-/ Try it yourself here
Facebook has added the ‘Like’ functionality for the web that we all like so much (no pun intended!). And guess what, it’s dead simple to make each post on your blog likable.
Now, assuming you want to create this for each post on your blog (it makes little sense to like a category or tag or the blog itself, although it can be done! ), you just need to add this button on each post that you create. For that, all you need is the php file which is included only on single blog posts, and its permalink. For wordpress, the file is called ‘single.php’ and is included within your theme. So browse to your wp-content directory, then your plugin’s name, and then edit the ‘single.php’ in it.
The code that you will need on single.php can be generated here. Facebook presents to you a widget, through which you can create your custom ‘like’ button. In the ‘URL to like’, include <?php the_permalink() ?>, it’s the wordpress php code for generating URL for each post. Go ahead and change any other values you would like to tinker with.
Finally click on ‘Get Code’, and include this code in the ‘single.php’ of your blog. You’re done!
It’s too simple to be missed even by the people who don’t know abc about php or wordpress, and the kind of virality this feature has is immense. Gone are the days when you used to customize your blog for keywords and optimize each post for search engines just to be seen and get more traffic. Facebook provides us with social sharing outside of facebook, even easier than tweeting, IMHO.
And why doesn’t it make sense to still support the evil browser
As a web developer, I have been disappointed, disheartened, frustrated, and mostly infuriated by IE6. If you don’t know what is IE6, most probably you are using it right now. Now, I don’t want to get into the technical details of IE6 and why it sucks. I’ll just logically prove to you why supporting IE6 won’t help your business. Without any doubt we can assume that the only people who use IE6 are:
1) People who are just plain stupid (aka fools): These people don’t know what a browser is, and just click on the start button of their XP boxes and click on “Internet”.
2) Grandmas (aka grandmas): I wouldn’t say they are stupid, but they are likely to use IE6 for the same reason as above.
3) People who surf the net from cyber cafes(aka ‘poor people, hungry people’ or pphp ): They don’t have any other options in many cases. Too poor to own a computer, and too naive to demand a better browser. Some references to pphps can be found here and here.
4) People whose companies have blocked installation of other browsers and applications (aka handcuffed): Tch tch… sometimes these good old normal people (even internet savvy, you may say) might not be able to use another browser because of their companies. Enterprise apps are many a times built for IE6.
5) People who develop and test their sites on IE6(aka developers): Poor people like us, who have a job to protect their site on IE6, and still make it work on other browsers.
After we have established the users for IE6, we can analyse the web to see why it’s used. And why making your site work in IE6 is not helping you in any way. Let’s consider the broad categories of websites/web applications one is likely to encounter:
1) E-commerce – Suppose you’re running your e-commerce site, do you think anyone using a paleolithic browser like IE6 is going to run his/her card through your payment gateway? E-commerce doesn’t work for fools – they would select mastercard instead of visa. It doesn’t work for grandmas – they won’t know what a credit card is. Of course it doesn’t work for pphp- Remember, they are poor people, hungry people. Handcuffed people won’t be allowed to visit an e-commerce site anyway, and developers are too busy making that site.
2) Building a Brand: Rolexes and Ferraris don’t sell on the web, but still have well maintained websites. The reason is that they want to build or enhance their brand through a slick website and substantial web presence. Branding doesn’t work for fools – that’s their definition. Might work for grandmas, but they would forget the brand name during lunch time. I’m assuming no branding is necessary for pphp, as they’re not in any target group – they never are. Handcuffed people won’t be allowed to visit a branding site anyway, and developers are too busy making that site.
3) Content: People also use internet to read some free content online. If you have any serious content that’s not about fools or grandmas, then your site is not going to be used by them anyway. Pphp may come to your site, but being too time conscious, before they click on an ad which helps you earn profit, they’ll either pack up and leave or use their remaining minutes watching desibaba. Handcuffed people won’t be allowed to visit a content site anyway, and developers are too busy making that site.
4) Networking: Who wants fools to be a part of their social or business network? You got it – other fools. If your site analytics shows that IE6 users make 40% of your total users, you know that your networking site is going to die – soon. Grandmas and pphp- ditto. And of course Handcuffed people won’t be allowed to visit a networking site anyway, and developers are too busy making that site.
5) Mail, apps and other useful sites: You can hold IE6 users to ransom and refuse supporting it. If your product is good enough(e.g. youtube, google apps, 37signals), people will upgrade their browsers and come to your site anyway.
Moral of the story: Let it dIE